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Students Learn Democracy Not a Spectator's Sport

While the final results aren't in yet, hundreds of students at Jefferson Lighthouse Elementary School received a firsthand look at how elections work and why it's important to participate when they become grown-ups.

There were no hanging chads, allegations of voter fraud or machines malfunctioning on Monday during a mock election at Jefferson Lighthouse Elementary School.

Hundreds of students, teachers and support staff cast their ballots on hot pink paper as they voted for their candidate for the presidential election.

Second grader Trillian Hunt greeted her fellow students by showing them to hand painted voter booths made out of cardboard, and Sebastian Cruz handed out homemade "I voted" stickers. The students were excited about fulfilling their civic duty, and that's exactly the lesson teachers wanted the students to learn.

Andrea Felle, a second grade teacher at Jefferson Lighthouse, said the mock election project came out of their section on citizenship.

"We talked about the election and they came up with the idea of holding their own election," Felle said. "They painted the voting booths and ballot boxes, and came up with their own ballots."

The students wore red, white and blue, painted their own 'get out the vote' posters and got very excited about the whole voting process. They had poll workers and poll greeters, and some of the students were inviting other classes down to vote while other students sorted out the ballots.

"The teachers aren't taking any action, the students are doing it all," Felle said. "They are owning it."

Trillian said it was important to get the other students involved in the election.

"But it's also important to let kids just vote," she said. "We don't want to have them picking certain people because that's up to them to decide."

As two boys counted the ballots, one of them noticed that Barack Obama was in the lead.

"But I think Romney will win," one of them said. "It's just a guess, but you never know. We still have a lot more ballots to count."

James R Hoffa November 06, 2012 at 08:48 PM
"But I think Romney will win," one of them said. Wise students at that school ;-)
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